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Root canals have gotten a bad rap over the years. Comedians make jokes about root canals, and most people cringe at the thought of having one. But a root canal can allow you to keep a tooth that in the past may have had to be extracted.

A root canal is needed when the pulp of your tooth has become infected because of disease or decay. After numbing the area, your dentist will use a drill to access the pulp. Then he will clean the pulp chamber to remove any remaining pulp and kill any bacteria. If necessary, he will enlarge the chamber. The dentist will insert a material called gutta percha into the chamber to fill the space. The tooth will be covered with a temporary filling, and a permanent crown will be placed on the tooth later.

After the procedure, you will need to see the dentist for follow-up visits for the dentist to check your tooth, and to place a crown. Even without the pulp, your tooth will remain in good shape for the rest of your life, so long as you continue to brush twice a day, floss before bed and see your dentist for your cleanings and appointments.

If you are experiencing pain or problems with a tooth, or if it is just time for your regular visit to the dentist, Dr. Joseph N. Falco would love to see you. If you live in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky, area, give our office a call at 270-632-6404 to make an appointment at Pennyrile Family Dentistry. We look forward to helping you have a bright and healthy smile!